Witness describes Bay Bridge Toll Plaza shooting: 'We have nothing but a windshield protecting us'

ByLena Howland KGO logo
Thursday, July 27, 2023
Witness describes Bay Bridge Toll Plaza shooting
Hear from a witness and an investigator after a naked woman fired a gun into oncoming traffic near the Bay Bridge Toll Plaza on Tuesday.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- All westbound lanes of Highway 24 shut down for reports of yet another freeway shooting involving two cars - for about half an hour Wednesday just after 11 a.m.

This comes just a day after all eastbound lanes of Interstate 80 were closed - on the east side of the Bay Bridge Toll Plaza.

No one was hurt after a naked woman fired a gun into oncoming traffic near the Bay Bridge toll plaza Tuesday night just before 5 p.m.

It shut down all eastbound lanes for about 12 minutes causing serious traffic delays for drivers leaving San Francisco.

Michael Crawford and his co-worker Alex were on their way back to the East Bay after work, when they came across a car parked sideways blocking multiple lanes of traffic.

"I heard the pop, like I saw her walking around and I heard (pop) and I was like oh, that's a gun, that's actually a gun so I heard it before I saw it," Crawford said.

RELATED: Naked woman arrested after firing shots on I-80 near Bay Bridge toll plaza, CHP says

A naked woman who fired shots at traffic on eastbound I-80 near the Bay Bridge toll plaza was arrested Tuesday, the California Highway Patrol said.

That's when they noticed a woman, not wearing any clothes, firing a weapon into oncoming traffic.

"Like what am I supposed to do right now?" he said. "What am I supposed to do? Like how do I get out of here, we can't just stay here, we're sitting ducks, we have nothing but a windshield protecting us."

CHP says around 4:40 Tuesday afternoon, callers reported a reckless driver heading eastbound on the Bay Bridge.

At one point she stopped on the bridge, got out of her car and started yelling at other drivers with a knife in her hand, but she got back in the car, passed the toll plaza approaching the 880 interchange and got out for a second time.

"She was yelling at other vehicles, she began firing shots into the air and then as other vehicles appeared to be kind of confused as to what was happening maybe thinking there was a crash and they were trying to drive around it," Officer Andrew Barclay, a spokesman for the CHP Golden Gate Division said. "As they were trying to drive around, she started firing rounds towards those other vehicles."

MORE: Shots fired on Hwy 24 causes accident, prompts temporary freeway closure near Lafayette, CHP says

California Highway Patrol is investigating a westbound Highway 24 freeway shooting that happened in Lafayette Wednesday morning.

CHP says their officers were able to safely de-escalate the situation, convince her to drop the weapon and give up.

She was taken to the hospital for a physical and psychiatric evaluation and remains on a 72-hour hold at the hospital.

"While we know that this is someone experiencing a mental health crisis, we also have a crime scene that we need to handle because there are rounds that have been fired, we need to process that scene," Barclay said.

All lanes east of the toll plaza were closed for 12 minutes at rush hour.

According to data from CHP from January through mid-April of this year, there were at least 30 freeway shootings in the bay area. 19 of which, happened in Alameda County, the same county where Tuesday's incident happened.

"I didn't know what to do because I was driving, I was like I don't want to get up close to this person trying to drive by because she was shooting at windows of cars as they were driving by so I didn't want that obviously," Crawford said.

MORE: All EB lanes at I-580 on Richmond-San Rafael Bridge reopen following police activity, officials say

And CHP says if you are ever involved in a similar situation, their number one piece of advice is to not engage.

"Somebody who's committing for example a road rage incident, do not engage with them, do not fuel their fire, remove yourself from the situation, get away from the situation, call 911, tell us what's going on so we can get officers into place," Barclay said.

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